Call For Papers

Special Issue 2022 – Across Global Souths: Asian Migrations through the U.S. South and the Circum-Caribbean

Guest Edited by Joo Ok Kim and Giselle Liza Anatol

Courtesy of ggggrimes Art

Across Global Souths: Asian Migrations through the U.S. South and the Circum-Caribbean seeks to investigate Asian/American cultures, politics, and relationships across multiple Souths, with an emphasis on the U.S. South and the Caribbean. In the United States, ideas of “Asian America” continue to circulate around communities on the East and West coasts. The Across Global Souths: Asian Migrations through the U.S. South and the Circum-Caribbean project reframes the conversation with an emphasis on journeys to and from multiple souths. The CFP considers the broader U.S. geopolitical designation of “Souths” (including Texas and the US Gulf Coast). Grounded within recent scholarly developments in the field of American Studies, the CFP invites further reflections on the diaspora condition of the category “Asian,” as well as the diasporic condition of the category “Southerner,” and simultaneously challenges conceptions of an exclusively white, Euro-American U.S. citizenry.

What distinguishes this research, firmly ensconced within both American Studies and current Global South frameworks, is the comparative focus on Asians in the U.S. South and the Caribbean and Caribbean diasporas. While Global South Studies has raised important questions on “south/south” and hemispheric discourses, and Caribbean Studies has long foregrounded archipelagic and transnational critiques of colonialism, an interdisciplinary examination of Asian migration within two locations that share centuries of overlapping histories–the U.S. South and the Caribbean–has been understudied. Even as we foreground the geographical spaces of the U.S. South and the Caribbean, we also invite broader theorizations of “south” that convene other under-examined geographies, such as the U.S. Midwest, and a range of methodologies.

We seek essays that articulate transregional, comparative U.S. South / Caribbean emphases and interdisciplinary approaches. Possible topics could include:

  • Politics and politicians of Asian heritage across the U.S. South and Caribbean, Asian American grassroots politics, and radical political cultures;
  • Nineteenth-century history, such as Asian indentured servants transported to the Caribbean, the arrival of Chinese workers from Cuba and California to the Mississippi Delta, the building of the Panama Canal, the Filipino Saint Malo settlement in Louisiana;
  • Twentieth-century history, such as Japanese American internment in the U.S. South, the Japanese American presence in postwar Georgia and Arkansas, including in the chick-sexing industry;
  • literary representations of Asian/Americans in the Caribbean, in the U.S. South, in Latin America (e.g. Gun Island, The Pagoda, Monkey Hunting, Kira-Kira, works by V.S. Naipual, Shani Mootoo, Stacey-Ann Chin, etc.);
  • films (e.g. Minari, Mississippi Masala, Jeronimo, etc.); visual arts, music, and sound studies;
  • Indigeneities across the Caribbean
  • studies of multiracial subjectivities: racial affiliation, being ‘claimed’ or ‘rejected’ by multiple heritage communities;
  • ethnographic work that investigates convergent spaces and unexpected places in the American Souths (e.g. farms, restaurants, motels, beauty supply stores, spas, fishermen’s circles, Asian sweatshop economies) as sources of cultural production;
  • overlapping legacies of food and colonialism across the U.S. South and Caribbean;
  • Gulf South and Caribbean ecologies;
  • gender, sexuality, and/or misogynist anti-Asian/American violence; queer and trans* liberation;
  • alternative kinships and genealogies; the movements of DNA ancestry testing on Asian/American populations; Asian adoptees in the U.S. South;
  • exploring or challenging archival collections (e.g. Digital Library of the Caribbean, The Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive, special collections of university repositories across the U.S. South and the Caribbean);
  • parallels among South Korea, South Vietnam, and the American South;
  • religion and spirituality.

Email abstracts of 250-400 words to j.kim@ku.edu and ganatol@ku.edu by May 21, 2021. Notification of invitation to submit articles by mid-June 2021. Full drafts will be due by Friday, December 3, 2021.

Dialogues: Blog of the American Studies Journal

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